All great triumphs were impossible and unattainable at one point or another, until someone made them possible and attainable. Those people were not super humans. They were individuals like you and I. However, if you take a close look at their lives and their attitude towards life, you will see that most of these people believed in themselves and their dreams. They worked hard and persistently to realise their dreams.
Take the life of Glenn Cunningham, who suffered severe injuries in a fire accident and was told by doctors that he would never be able to walk again. He did not allow the doctors’ words to dampen his spirit. He was determined to walk. Even when he was under treatment, he would throw himself off his wheelchair in an attempt to walk and drag his body on the floor. The pain and trauma did not stop his efforts to walk. It took almost 22 months for him to take his first step after the accident.
And Glenn did not stop with walking. He learnt to run again as well. It did not take much time for Glenn to prove what he was capable of. He sprinted miles in record time. While in Kansas University, he ran the 1,500 metre race at the 1932 Olympics. Though he finished fourth in the race due to ill health, his accomplishment was much talked about.
Glenn is not an exception. There are several people who believed in their dreams and made them come true. Many great scientists believed in their ideas and strove to achieve them even if the world did not believe in them. Criticism did not deter them. When Alexander Graham Bell declared that it was possible to hear someone talking miles away, not many believed him. Nevertheless, Bell made it possible and now we have progressed way beyond telephones. Our communication system would have been primordial now if Bell had not believed in himself and pursued his ideas.
Although it may sound philosophical, a dialogue between Alice and the queen in Through the Looking Glass is a brilliant idea to live by. It stresses the importance of dreaming the impossible:
“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.
“Can’t you?” the queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again. Draw a long breath and shut your eyes.”
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”
‘I dare say you haven’t had much practice,’ said the queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour every day. Why, sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast….”
The above conversation stresses the importance of dreaming the impossible. When we have the courage to dream, wonders can happen. The problem is that most of us do not dare to even begin dreaming.
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost,
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you’re outclassed, you are:
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.
―Walter D Wintle